Ironworker Injured

GWC Obtains $2.3 Million at Trial for Injured Ironworker

GWC attorneys Autumn K. Leslie and Timothy J. Keiser obtained approximately $2.3 million for an injured ironworker in a settlement taking place during trial, more than doubling pre-trial offers.

An Ironworker Injured on a Jobsite

In June 2017, GWC’s client, a 44-year-old female Ironworker, was working on a jobsite in Evanston, Illinois. Defendant, Walsh/Barton Malow Joint Venture III was the general contractor [GC] on the project. Defendants, Walsh Construction Company II [Walsh II] and Novum Structures, LLC were sub-contractors.

The jobsite was the construction of a new building at Northwestern University’s campus.  The ground conditions on site had been previously reported to the GC as unsafe, due to the soil being sandy, loose, and not compacted.  The GC asked its subcontractor, Walsh II, to level the areas where tradespeople would be walking to address the safety complaints. Walsh II did a grading of the soil, however, in doing so it not only failed to compact the soil, it also buried a large tree root just below the surface of the sandy soil.

While Plaintiff was walking to her work area, her foot sank into the soil just enough to become entangled with the buried tree root, causing her to fall onto her outstretched arm.

Injuries Require Surgical Repairs

The client sustained a torn ligament in her elbow and impingement in her shoulder. Both injuries necessitated surgery. Over time, these initial injuries caused lasting conditions in the wrist, which required two additional surgeries.

Defendants Claim Incident Is Client’s Fault

Ms. Leslie and Mr. Keiser filed suit against both Walsh entities and Novum. Throughout the litigation, the Defendants claimed the client was at fault for failing to keep a proper lookout for ground conditions and they vehemently disputed the nature, extent, and value of the injuries she sustained.

GWC Locates “Smoking Gun” Evidence

During the litigation, Ms. Leslie and Mr. Keiser obtained emails showing numerous complaints about ground conditions in the days leading up to Plaintiff’s fall. These emails contained photographs showing how poorly the jobsite had been maintained and a litany of conditions similar to those which ultimately injured the Plaintiff. “The Defendants blamed our client since day one; arguing that this was simply a construction site with normal ground conditions.” said Autumn Leslie. “However, these photos and emails were a ‘smoking gun’ proving that they were aware of the improper conditions and failed to ensure that they were corrected.”

Testimony at Trial Supports Plaintiff

The evidence and testimony at trial supported all aspects of the Plaintiff’s case. Plaintiff’s foreman and coworker detailed poor ground conditions and the difficulty tradespeople had safely walking through the jobsite. A representative of the project’s owner explained how they expected the GC to maintain ground conditions. These witnesses highlighted the inconsistencies in Defendants’ claims and unequivocally proved their fault.

Plaintiff’s surgeons and another of her doctors each testified about the extent of her injuries. These surgeons testified that the fall caused the injuries and necessitated their care. A vocational rehabilitation expert testified regarding the difficulties she had trying to return to ironwork and an economist testified the present cash value of lost wages/benefits. Defendants’ medical expert was subjected to a fierce cross-examination over his employer-friendly medical opinions. “After his bias was thoroughly exhausted and obvious to the jury, we put in all of our medical opinions and good evidence once again with the Defendants’ own expert; driving our points home.” remarked Timothy Keiser.

Settlement Mid-Trial Exceeds Pre-Settlement Offer 

Based upon the strength of the case GWC presented over the first four days of trial, Defendants more than doubled their pre-trial settlement offers, to a total of nearly $2.3 Million.

“This was a long and hard-fought road for our client. Fortunately, we obtained the justice she so richly deserved for all she has been through” commented Leslie.  “This case shows why trials are so important” added Keiser. “They simply refused to acknowledge what the evidence would be prior to trial – but as trial progressed, the merits of our case became clear and a maximum settlement become a reality.”

Helping Injured Victims in Illinois

To maximize your claim value, whether by settlement or trial, contact the dedicated personal injury and workers’ compensation attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.

With more than $2.5 billion recovered in verdicts and settlements, GWC is one of the premier personal injury and workers’ compensation law firms in Illinois.  At GWC, our trial lawyers have the experience, determination, resources, and reputation to get you and your family the justice and money you deserve.

Schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with one of GWC’s trial lawyers today.  You may call our office at (312) 999-9999 or click here to chat with a representative at any time.